Home After School First Year at UCT: a Few Tips for a Local Student

First Year at UCT: a Few Tips for a Local Student

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Going to university is exciting for most. Moving out, independence and no parents to keep track. But what about the few who spend their first year of university in their home town?

Going to UCT as a local student is a fairly different experience to that of a Joburg or Durban student. While others are excited to be out of school, in a new town and excited to experience the life of a res student, you are in an environment you have known for quite some time. The social life is slightly different and you face a few different challenges along the way. Here is some advice to make the most out of your first year:

Start being social from the Res O-week

Once everyone has gotten to know each other in third year you might hear people say that both Cape Town and Res students were cliquey at the start of first year, which is true for both parties. Capetonians generally stick to local friends while res students stick to friends from Res and going out. That’s why getting involved in the Res O-Week is so important, as it is loads of fun and allows you to get to know new people and be well connected when lectures start. On that note…

Go to lectures

Many students often fall into the trap of skipping lectures at the start of semester as they find it boring or easy, but they are a really great way to get to know the people that are in your course with you. Even if you don’t get to know them in class, you will at least be able to recognize them when out in Claremont and can share a drink about that Maths lecturer who just never stops writing on that board.

Be Bold

In all the environments you are going to be in there will be opportunities to meet new people. This is where being bold is necessary. Don’t be afraid to sit next to someone you don’t know in class and get to know them or speak to someone out in Claremont. The great thing about varsity is that everyone is friendly, so there is no need to worry about a rude conversation rejection.

First Year Parking

A unique problem faced by Cape Town first years is parking. First years aren’t allowed to park on campus and you generally don’t have easy access to a Jammie. The following options are available to you: Parking on either Princess Anne or Woolsack Drive, parking up at Rhodes Memorial, or trying to find parking along the roads of middle or lower campus. All roads will involve a fair amount of walking, so be ready to be super fit by the end of semester. If this is not appealing to you, look up the Jammie Shuttle routes and see if there are any that travel to a location near you.


This is more of a point for all students, but still quite important. Societies allow you to get to know people with similar interests as yourself and joining them are a great idea. If you are interested in alcohol, check out the wine society who are known for some great events. If you are looking to make a difference there are a number of societies such as SHAWCO who are interested in helping the community. If all you are looking for is a chance to socialise, then try out a social sport. The most unique to UCT being Jaboolie, which is guaranteed to garner big crowds every week of the first term. A good rule of thumb though is to not join more than three societies. Many students sign up to up to 10 societies, only to find out later on that there is just not enough time to be so involved.

EduConnect 2cents

Despite the different type of first year you will be experiencing, at the end of the day you are still experiencing varsity life. Your first year of varsity is guaranteed to be exciting, crazy and full of memories you will keep with you for a very long time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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